Business chief urged to see success

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 07 February 2014 Updated: 07/02 09:16

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Buy photos » MP Karen Lumley with James Bradley from Bee Design. Picture supplied by Karen Lumley’s office. (s)

THE COUNTRY’S business chief has been invited to visit successful businesses in the borough.

Redditch MP Karen Lumley asked Business Secretary Vince Cable to see for himself the good work companies are doing and highlighted in particular Bee Design Consultancy, a design and manufacturing company which she recently visited.

She said: “I always enjoy visiting Redditch’s successful businesses and seeing for myself the work that they do. I was also pleased to have been able to highlight one of these success stories in Parliament. I would be delighted if the Secretary of State could find the time to visit Redditch.”

Bee Design began in 2006, with just two directors Colin Fulford and Paul Crees, both working from home. After a few months they took up residence in the Edward Street based business centre doing design work for small companies which did not have their own design department.

Within their first year they had worked with an American company and Jaguar on headlights and rear lights - quickly realising there was a gap in the market for experts in this field.

After 18 months they took on their first employee and they now head up a team of 18, having moved to the Enfield Industrial Estate to accommodate their growing company four years ago.

Their list of design achievements now includes working with businesses across America, India and Europe and they are continuing to employ new people while developing a manufacturing department and hiring a non-executive director to help them develop the business.

Their work has seen them design and manufacture the front and rear lighting on the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster and the front and rear lighting, interior console and instrument dials on the Jaguar X17 while a partner company in the US made the lighting they had designed for the McLaren P1. Support from Hereford and Worcester Chamber of Commerce and UKTI has allowed them to pull in business from America and India.

Mr Fulford said: “People are surprised we do what we do, people don’t really realise you have to design headlights.

“Being here is really good because we are right in the middle of the country and there are really good transport links to the big automotive companies.

“The good thing about Redditch is if you want something there is somebody that does it in the town or the surrounding area. You can find pretty much anything you want or someone will know someone who does it.”

He added they realised quite early on there was a gap in the market for automotive lighting.

“We are the biggest team of people in the UK that does what we are doing, not many people are doing it at all.

“I really enjoy doing the showcar stuff. The first big project we did was the Lamborghini Aventador which allowed us to take on another two or three people. That’s when we really identified we had a real niche.”

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